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17:02 14th April 2012


Burnley's slim play-off hopes disappeared to virtually nothing as another Charlie Austin goal brought only a point against relegation-threatened Coventry.

Seemingly needing a maximum return to have any chance of sneaking into the top six on the back of a recent run of three wins in four games, the Clarets came up short on another afternoon of frustration at Turf Moor.

Austin's 17th-goal of the season and sixth in five games had promised to keep the dream alive as he gave Burnley a half-time lead.

But with substitute Clive Platt heading home to give the Sky Blues a deserved reward, tired legs seemingly caught up with the Clarets as Eddie Howe's over-stretched squad was unable to conjure up the big finish needed to take the fight on for a few more days at least.

Coventry arrived at Turf Moor with the worst away record in the Championship but threatened to belie that statistic and their position in the bottom three with an impressive start which could easily have brought them the lead.

With ten minutes gone Richard Keogh's powerful header from Sammy Clingan's corner was only inches away from crossing the line as Kieran Trippier produce a remarkable clearance.

Charlie strikes again

And it then took a superb save from Lee Grant to deny the lively Alex Nimely as the on-loan Manchester City forward burst into the box and fired low towards the bottom corner.

Nimely's pace and direct running always provided a threat and Grant made another save from the 20-year-old as the Sky Blues battled to add to their miserable tally of just 12 goals away from home all season.

The Clarets had barely got out of first gear but with 19 minutes gone they grabbed the lead thanks to the irrepressible Austin.

The striker can do no wrong at the moment and when Ross Wallace, again getting forward well from full-back, floated over a delightful cross, Austin leapt to send a towering header into the top corner.

Boosted by that goal the Clarets had opportunities to increase their advantage with Danny Ings popping up from Burnley's tried-and-tested corner routine to connect with a shot which was blocked in front of goal by Martin Cranie.

Austin is denied by Joe Murphy this time

Ings then went it alone with a superb run which took him clear of a pack of defenders before being thwarted by Joe Murphy's save as he tried to send a left-footed shot back across the City keeper.

Murphy then saved with his legs after Austin had given Cranie the slip and weaved his way along the goalline.

And with only one goal in it, it was never comfortable for the Clarets as the Sky Blues refused to go down without a fight.

Junior Stanislas twice had the opportunity to ease the pressure early in the second half but after turning down the opportunity to try and lift the ball first-time over Murphy after the keeper had punched cleared from the edge of the penalty area the winger fired wide.

And he then delayed again when a deep cross gave him shooting space, the ball finally dropping for the impressive Dean Marney to fire over the top.

Lee Grant keeps City at bay

City boss Andy Thorn didn't wait long to make a triple substitution and his change of tack paid almost dividends.

Platt gave the visitors a more muscular presence and an aerial threat and ten minutes after coming on the former Rochdale man headed City level, rising to steer a cross from Cranie beyond Grant from eight yards out.

With few options on the bench - which included teenage striker Joe Jackson following his re-call from a loan spell at AFC Barrow - to make a significant change, Howe opted to replace Marney with Marvin Bartley.

But having lost the momentum, the Clarets struggled to build up any sustained pressure until a frantic final few minutes in their quest for the goal that might have kept their season alive.

Kieran Trippier drives forward

Wallace tested Murphy with a long-range effort, Ings sent a deflected shot on the turn from a Josh McQuoid cross just wide and Austin saw another header saved by Murphy .

But even with City down to ten men after substitute Cyrus Christie limped off, the one clear-cut chance the Clarets needed to force a possible winner eluded them as more costly home points slipped through their grasp.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Wallace, Duff, Edgar, Marney (Bartley 69), McCann, Stanislas, Austin, Ings, McQuoid. Subs: Lafferty, Bartley, Howieson, Jackson, Jensen.

Booked: Marney 45

Coventry: Murphy, Keogh, Hussey, Clingan, Bell (Bigirimana 56), McSheffrey, McDonald, Cranie, Norwood, Nimely (Platt 56), Clarke (Christie 56). Subs: Willis, Dunn.

Booked: Platt 64, Murphy 90

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 13,398

One that got away

    Data provided by Press Association